Manny's Blog

a blog for kids and kids at heart


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Eyeing the Needle by Mrs. Eternal Traveler

Note from Me:  I loved this trip. Mom and Dad finally brought be on a trip, AND I got to spend time with my friends Mr. and Mrs. ET, and my really good friend, Justin Beaver. I’m posting this because I couldn’t have done a better job of describing this wonderful location myself.

My friend Justin Beaver and I lounging on the patio.

My friend Justin Beaver and I lounging on the patio.

Feb28

Holiday in Hawaii #7

The rugged West Maui Mountains form a dramatic backdrop to the never-ending beaches and tropical gardens of Maui.

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To get a closer view of the grandeur of the mountains, we venture inland to ʻIao Valley State Park, where ʻIao Stream has carved a deep valley between the densely forested slopes.

Most people come to the park to see Kuka‘emoku, a volcanic ridge which ends in a sharp bluff rising 370 metres from the valley floor. Also known as ʻIao Needle, this volcanic formation, sacred to Hawaiians, is best viewed from a lookout at the end of a 300 metre walking track.

We begin our ascent to the lookout up a staircase cut into the mountainside before crossing ʻIao Stream. Icy water tumbles down the steep slope over large volcanic boulders and, although there are signs warning of the dangers of flash floods, daring swimmers try their luck.

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We continue upwards, stopping along the way to read about the historic Battle of Kepaniwai, which took place here in 1790 when the invading forces of King Kamehameha I defeated the army of Maui.

ʻIao Needle and the surrounding mountain peaks are often enveloped by cloud; ʻIao means “cloud supreme” in Hawaiian. Today is no exception; when we reach the lookout the needle is clear while the mountains are obscured. But as we admire the scenery the cloud lifts, and we have a perfect view of the needle and the mountains set against the deepening blue of the afternoon sky.

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On our return journey, a detour off the main path leads us on a circuit into the rainforest, along the bank of ʻIao stream and up the side of the mountain again. Looking down we spot the bright orange flowers of African Tulip Trees high in the canopy.

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Another detour takes us further down the valley to the Ethnobotanical Garden, featuring plants brought by the native Hawaiians when they first settled these islands. Just as they would have been 1700 years ago, banana trees and taro plants are watered by ʻIao Stream.

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It’s the heart of the valley, giving life and creating the spectacular scenery we’ve enjoyed on our walk today.

 

ʻIao Valley State Park is open daily. Entry costs $1 for walk-ins and $5 per car. There is no fee for Hawaiian residents.

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Acrobatics On Land and Sea

Normally I would never jump off an eight story building. This beaver named Justin Beaver is one of my best friends, but sometimes… Justin Beaver always manages to get me in trouble. He reminds me of Eddie Haskell on Leave it to Beaver. Remember that show? Eddie always acted so innocent and the kid, Beaver, got in trouble. Mom and I like to watch old TV shows together. Of course, in this case, I AM always innocent. Justin looks so smart in his hat, and he’s always spouting off about learning how to do all kinds of jobs. Who wants to work? Especially when we’re on vacation in Maui Hawaii. Yep, even in Maui Justin insisted that we learn how to drive a whale watching cruise ship, but that’s another story.

My friend Justin Beaver and I lounging on the patio.

My friend Justin Beaver and I lounging on the patio.

For me, Manny, I like to have fun. I hope I never have to grow up and work like Justin.

 

 

Our hotel is an old flamingo-pink Empress Hotel, built in the 1960s. It was one of the first hotels on this side, the west side, of the island of Maui. KBC stands for Ka’anapali Beach Club. Ka’anapali means rolling cliffs. I love cliffs. Back in the old days they used to run water down the front of the hotel.

 

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One of my favorite things about KBC is riding to our room in the glass elevator. I can see the little birds that fly into the restaurant down there.  It’s cool. All the doors open out to the beach. I’m just waiting for the day when a whale swims into KBC. Is that girl checking her cell phone while she’s walking? Hawaii 2016 KBC20 2448x3264

Trust me, you don’t want to do that in this hotel. You might walk right into a bird or a statue, Oprah Winfrey, Woody Harrelson, Jim Neighbors, or one of the other famous person that lives here. Worse yet, she might walk off the bridge into a stream of koi. Dad fell into the pool once and wrecked his iPhone. He said Mom pushed him, but she says she didn’t. I don’t know, but Dad WAS NOT happy.

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Justin got dizzy the higher we got. Dad offered him a Dramamine, but Mr. ET had a better idea. Don’t get the wrong idea. Bears and beavers who are 12 are almost adults.

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This bottle kind of tipped over, and a bear’s gotta do what a bear’s gotta do. My tongue stuck to the can. Mr. ET forgot and left it in the freezer too long. Mom made me come home. She didn’t know about it until after Mr. ET posted it on Facebook and one of her friends worried her that the animal protection people were coming to get us. She made me lie low for a while and drink a bunch of coffee. Blah! Justin still felt dizzy. Mrs. ET held him on her lap.

Hawaii 2016 KBC Manny8 2157x1618For me hanging from a railing is as easy as sitting down in a chair. I’m twelve now. I know I told you that, but it IS important. Some people still think I look like a cub, but I have some pretty good moves. For years I’ve trained all over the world to be a world-famous acrobat bear.  Yeah, sometimes Justin makes me do things I love to do, too.  So I don’t know why my parents and other adults get so jittery when I start climbing. The railing was only eight stories up, and right on the ocean. At low tide, too.

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You can see how calm and beautiful it is – at least somewhere over the rainbow. It almost always rains here in places like Hana or in the mountains. It rained on Mom when she exercised. They can get 300 inches of rain a year. We only get ten inches during a wet year in Woodlake, CA where I live.

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So I climbed up to get a better look. Actually I had a bit more trouble climbing than normal. Mom wasn’t fussed about me climbing, but like I said, I’ve had lots of training. By the way, Mr. and Mrs. ET say really fun things. Mrs. ET is not fussed about POKE Ahi tuna. Mom hates it too.

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But really climbing is so easy a beaver could do it. But you don’t see Justin out here do you. No. I just use my lei as a rope, and up I go.

Woah, it's farther down there than I thought.

Woah, it’s farther down there than I thought.

Easy as… OK that looks a bit far down there. Those little chaise lounges look like they are for Barbie dolls. You have to admit the view is gorgeous. I don’t see any whales. Oh wait, there is one way out there.

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That’s the first time I’ve ever seen a real whale. IMG_5261

There’s two of them. Love is in the air. I wish I was on that boat.

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Oops!

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I’m Fed Up With Sitting At Home So I Ran Away

I know you adults out there are not going to like this, but I finally did it.

Manny at Hal's

Mom has not taken me anywhere for a long time, but she had some airline points.  So I went on the computer and booked a trip to Cousin Hal’s House.  This race car is so cool.  Hal and Ling entered a Pine Box Derby.  I wanted to ride in the car, but Hal wouldn’t let me.  He’s already getting just like Mom.  They still won third place, but if they’d let me drive, we would have won first place.  Ling is coming over tonight.  Cousin Hal, I call him Grandpa Hal, better let me do stuff….

Manny's friend Ling

Her name is Ling, and she was going to China.  Isn’t she pretty?  Grandpa Hal doesn’t know this yet, but….

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Yup, you guessed it.  I’m in a plane.  And we are on our way to Shenzhen and Hong Kong, China.  Danny, ole’ friend, I’m sorry I didn’t wait for you, but you gotta jump at opportunities when they’re opened up to you.  And Ling’s purse was open, so…..

I love you everyone!  See you in China!  🙂  Love, Manny  🙂


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Summer Vacation Games

If it wasn’t for grandpas, I think summer vacations would be boring.  Grandpa Hal takes time to play games with me.  Did you know that in England the game of Checkers is called Draughts?  Boys like me started playing Draughts way back in the 1100s in France.  Just like then we call the big round pieces “men”  The darkest color gets to go first.  Darn, Grandpa Hal got to go before me.

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I love Grandpas because they make me think.  Grandpa Hal is really smart.  He would not let me beat him, but his man was on top of mine, so I told him, “I won!”  He was not happy with me.  In 1532 someone added the rule that if your man CAN jump, he MUST jump.  That’s not fair because then the opponent sometimes can do a double or triple jump and capture lots of your men.

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Grandpas make Mom pay attention to me, and take my picture.  I don’t mind posing.  Grandpa Hal winked at me.

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We played Hide-N-Seek.  I hid in the tulips.  They couldn’t find me!  They kept calling and calling for 100 minutes.  I laughed and laughed, then they heard me.

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Summer is for eating.  When Mom and I travel back east we love to go to Cracker Barrel.  Grandpa Hal took Mom and me to Cracker Barrel.  

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If you go to Cracker Barrel, games are everywhere.  I found a friend, Mr. Toucan.  He repeats everything you say.  Mom played with his brother at Grandpa Hal’s house, so she had to buy one.  I hate that we stuffeds are “bought.”  Anyway Mr. Toucan still sits in his box on the floor in my room.  We never play with him now that we are not on vacation.  I’m ready to take another vacation!

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Vacations are fun because even Mom stops to play games with me.  What do you do on vacations.  Write and tell me.  You can even send stories with pictures, if you want!  My friends would love to hear your vacation stories, too.  

 

 


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Spikin’ Stats

Hi Mom,

Wow, I got a huge spike in my stats today.  I don’t know why.  I wonder if any kids are looking at my website.  Right now I’m having fun in Oklahoma.  Oklahoma looks like a hand with a finger pointing towards California.  You’ll be glad to know I’m doing a bit of community service.  Gardening without getting dirt under my claws was pretty easy.

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I also had to babysit the cat.  I got wet, and kitty found a huge bug under that rock.  It tried to eat me, but Kitty ate it first.

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Comforting the sick is my specialty.  Sadly, Darla’s father-in-law is in the hospital, but I think he liked me visiting him.  Turns out my heart rate is a little low.  I think that means I get a lot of exercise.

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Wind blows hard here in OK.  I saw this horsey toy fly through the air.  When it landed, I thought it would take me for a ride, but when I said, “Giddy up,” it sat there on the ground.  I kicked it, and it stayed right where it landed.  I left my Spanish cowboy hat at home.  I need you to send it.  Maybe it can help me get this horsey off the ground again.

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Everybody can do community service.  It’s easy ’cause it’s fun, and I’ve made lots of new friends.

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Well, I’ll see you later, Mom.


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Sail On Sailor

My friend Justin is up for an award for his superb blog. Please follow this link for vote for Justin’s blog, The Adventures of Justin Beaver. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BAB2014

The Adventures of Justin Beaver

Dear Friends,

Have you ever been mistaken for something completely different than what you are? I’ve been mistaken for a Canadian beaver and a teddy bear in the past, which is not so surprising. But I was absolutely astounded when a canal boat captain in Bruges thought I was his tip!

Let’s go back to the beginning of the story. Manny and I had been enviously watching these little boats, laden with tourists, sailing up and down the canals all day so we decided we should go for a ride too.

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We bought our tickets and found great seats at the front of the boat.

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Off we went alongside beautiful medieval buildings,

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under old stone bridges

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and past some of Bruge’s more unusual inhabitants.

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As we returned to the dock at the end of our trip my personal assistant The Eternal Traveller took a photo of the captain with us. And it was then that the captain thought…

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Party Down in Delaware with Manny, a Talking Toucan, and International Students

I slept in after my train trip with Hal.  I can’t wait to be 89 like my mom’s cousin, Hal.  He parties.

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I couldn’t hear strangers talking.

Anselmo and his wife Vera came from Brazil.  Karen teaches in PA, and Meow lived in China.

Anselmo and his wife Vera came from Brazil. Karen teaches in PA, and Meow lived in China.

After they finished desert, Mom woke me up.

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I climbed on the table.  Mr. Toucan flew over, and landed at my feet.  Silly bird.  He repeated every word everyone said in his high-pitched baby voice.

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Suddenly everyone talked at once, including Mr. Toucan, flapping his wings as he talked.  They talked in French.  They talked in Portuguese.  Everyone laughed.  No one noticed me.

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Mr. Toucan’s chicks dropped by, and started dancing on the table.   Meow spoke Chinese to Mr. Toucan.  He repeated every word.  Everyone laughed.  The chicks kept dancing.  No one noticed me.

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Weird stuffeds came to the table.  They smelled like they just came out of a box.  Anselmo took my picture with them.  Their mouths moved and made noises.  WOWEEE BLA BLA WHOAWEE!  They sounded excited.  I couldn’t understand their language, but I smiled.  Anselmo and Vera laughed and laughed.  The more they laughed, the more the WOWEEEs WOWEEEd.  I felt like I ate too many hot dogs on the train.

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Christmas dogs bounded to the table, their tongues dripping apple cider.  They knocked over the apple cider as they landed on the table next to Hal.  They sang Christmas carols.  Big deal.  No one noticed me.  No one noticed monkey, either.  He couldn’t talk.  He didn’t move. He listened to the dogs sing.

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I sat on Monkey’s legs. The dogs sang again.  The room smelled like bananas.  Maybe monkey had banana legs.  Did I bust them open?  The dogs didn’t miss a note as they sniffed the air.

The dogs quit singing.  The banana smell went away.

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Suddenly someone noticed me.

“Hal?  Am I in trouble?  I didn’t mean to sit on monkey’s legs.”

“it’s ok Manny.  Monkey always smells like that.  His legs are fine.  You seemed sad.  Are you ok?”

“Hal. I can’t do fancy tricks.”

“Manny, everyone has their own special talent.  You blog.  People all over the world love you.  Let’s go get your blog and show people.”

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Suddenly everyone noticed me.  The dining room smelled like honey, the way a dining room should smell.